Blog of Rights

ACLU in Defense One: Obama's Whistleblower Witchhunt Won't Work at DOD

ACLU in Defense One: Obama's Whistleblower Witchhunt Won't Work at DOD

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:55am
For two decades during the Cold War, an ultra-secret "mole" hunting squad at the Central Intelligence Agency, led by James Jesus Angleton, investigated hundreds of loyal government workers, primarily Eastern Europeans, in an obsessive search for Soviet spies based on tips from a questionable source. When all was said and done, many careers were ruined, no mole found and Angleton had lent his name to a new word for things conspiratorial and paranoiac: Angletonian.
Some Thoughts on DMV Image Databases and the Police

Some Thoughts on DMV Image Databases and the Police

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:28pm

The Washington Post has an excellent, in-depth article today on the growing use of driver’s license photo databases combined with face recognition analytics by police.

There are two ways to think about this. First, it is yet another long…

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm

It’s perfectly understandable that after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., everyone is casting about for an answer to a singular question: why?

As past is prologue, we shouldn’t be surprised that several members of Congress have settled…

Father of Mike Brown: "If I Could Have Stood Between Officer Wilson’s Gun and My Son, I Would Have."

Father of Mike Brown: "If I Could Have Stood Between Officer Wilson’s Gun and My Son, I Would Have."

The parents of Michael Brown – the black teenager killed by a police officer while walking, unarmed, in Ferguson, Missouri this summer – are in Geneva this week, as a United Nations committee reviews the United States' compliance with the Convention…

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?" The debate used this conversation starter:

Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment organization, released…

Don't Make the Internet Angry...

Don't Make the Internet Angry...

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

...You wouldn't like it when it's angry. And it's kinda angry.

On September 10, the ACLU will join an array of Internet companies and advocates in an "Internet Slowdown." Organizers plan to pepper sites with the "spinning wheel of death" to…

Journalism is Under Attack, and Not Just in Ferguson

Journalism is Under Attack, and Not Just in Ferguson

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:47pm

It is not a great time to be a journalist in America.

The assault on the First Amendment by militarized police in Ferguson, Mo., continues unabated, and the press is not spared. Since the start of protests against the August 9 killing of Michael…

Know Your Rights, Ferguson, Missouri

Know Your Rights, Ferguson, Missouri

By Alona Sistrunk, Communications and Development Associate, ACLU of Missouri at 10:01am

Outside of the Ferguson Police Department, protesters continue to exercise their right to protest in response to the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Saturday. In a show of solidarity, they hold up signs encouraging drivers…

Ban Censorship, Not Websites!

Ban Censorship, Not Websites!

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 6:13pm

Today is Banned Websites Awareness Day – a designated day within Banned Books Week – which is sponsored by our friends at the American Association of School Librarians and designed to raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of…

The $338,000 Internet Comment

The $338,000 Internet Comment

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:00am

(Updated below)

We’ve written before about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 — a federal law that protects the robust diversity of free speech we’ve come to know and love (and hate) on the Internet. Last night, the…